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Preview: Mass Effect: Invasion


If you're a big Mass Effect fan and can't wait until next year to play the final game in the trilogy, you can still get your fix from the novels and comic books. I just finished the first issue in the four-issue mini-series Mass Effect: Invasion from Dark Horse Comics, and thought it was actually pretty cool.

The plot involves an attack on the space station Omega, which naturally involves Aria T'Loak, the Asari who runs its crime empire. You might recall running into her if you played Mass Effect 2. Basically, these crazy biomechanical creatures are swarming all over the place, and Aria must team up with Cerberus agents to take them down and ultimately take the fight straight to them. Of course, when the Illusive Man is involved, nothing is ever as straightforward as that!

The story is by Mass Effect game writer Mac Walters, with a script by John Jackson Miller. It's a little dry, but it gets the job done, and Aria is appropriately bad-ass. With Walters involved, it would be nice if the series included some secrets or details that might inform the upcoming game, but just from the first issue, it seems unlikely. The art is by Omar Francia, and it's nice and clean. Scenes with spacecraft are a bit stiff, but the aliens and action look fantastic.

The only thing that bugged me about this issue is that Aria's squad defending against the initial attack was a little too multi-cultural. It felt like they were deliberately including one of each popular alien race just to give the artist some variety and let the reader recognize each one. It just seemed a little awkward to me. I did like the idea that the menace was a result of human tampering with Reaper technology. It wouldn't be Mass Effect without a conspiracy! And I also enjoy Aria just because she's kind of awesome. Being a first issue, it's a lot of set up. And I honestly reached the end thinking, "Eh, it was okay." It just hadn't hooked me. But then the last couple pages threw in a bit of a twist that made me go, "Okay, maybe I do want to see what happens next!"

The first issue of Mass Effect: Invasion is $3.50, and is in comic shops (or available digitally) now. The other three issues will follow monthly! (You can also read a few pages of issue #1 at the Dark Horse Comics website here.)


Kenneth said:

Incursion made me dislike Aria a little bit,
but I enjoyed this first issue of Invasion and can't wait for the next.

Amberuesa said:

The last pages were he only thing that helped it not be another piece of 'cerberus really isn't all that bad!' fluff that's been chafing me since you never got an option first thing in ME2 to tell cerberus where to shove it while you took your resurrected corpse back to momma and poppa Alliance.

Unfortunately the last pages STILL kinda galled me with watching what would probably be more experienced mercenary guards from respective warrior races pretty much get punked by a beaten and bound unarmed guy. (Then again, I also dislike fun, and roll my eyes at 007 getting out of impossible traps as well, so take my complaints as you will...)

Oh well. I will say that the art does look better, and my cerberus hate will probably get indulged by the comic more as the issues progress.

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